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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Software Test Automation

Advantages of Test Automation

1.0 Fast

As manual testing consumes a great deal of time in both the process of software development as well as during the software application testing, automated tools are a faster option as long as the scripts which need to be done are standard and non complex.

2.0 Reliability

Automation of test script execution eliminates the possibility of human error when the same sequence of actions is repeated again and again. Remember this can be really important as you would be astonished to learn just how many test defects raised are in fact caused by tester error. This particularly happens when the same boring test scripts have to be run over and over again as well as when, at the opposite spectrum, really complex testing has to be done.

3.0 Comprehensive

Automated testers might contain a suite of tests that would help in testing each and every feature in the application. This means that chance of missing out key parts of testing is unlikely to occur. You might think this is unlikely to happen in reality, but I have managed a project where in fact a key part of functionality was overlooked by the test team.

4.0 Reusability

The test cases can be used in various versions of the software. Not only will your project management stakeholders be very grateful for the reduced project time and cost, but it will certainly help you when estimating project costs.

5.0 Programmable

One can program the test automation software to pull out elements of the software developed which otherwise may not have been uncovered. Hence this should make your testing even more thorough, something you may not be so keen on when defect after defect is raised as a result!

Disadvantages of Test Automation

1.0 It’s Not Easy!

Writing test automation scripts is not an easy task. You really need testers who are experienced in doing this otherwise it will go horribly wrong and you will end up spending even more money and time than if done manually. So bear this in mind when you are doing your project management resource allocation that you get the right testers on your project.

2.0 Automation Script Errors

If an error is made in the test automation scripts which is undetected, it could be fatal for the project since the correct testing won’t have been done. In fact you may not even realize the error until the software launches and then falls over.

3.0 Scope Changes

Every project will have to implement change request management. However despite best endeavours there will still be some which get through. The problem with this is that it may require the test automation scripts to be reprogrammed or redesigned. This may be the case even when there is a minor change in the user interface of the software.

4.0 Complexity

With the increase in the number of requirements (business requirements documentation and software requirements specification) that are to be tested, this leads to more and more complexity which makes the maintenance of test data extremely difficult.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Software Test Automation - Tip

Every project which includes a software development life cycle should be able to encompass an element of test automation. If you are using either agile methodology or SCRUM methodology and time is of the essence this type of testing you should definitely investigate.

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